Mobile advertising is a type of promotion via mobile phones or other mobile devices like laptops and PDAs. Mobile advertising is closely related to online or internet advertising in the way it’s performed. Reach of this kind of advertising is far greater than it’s realized now. Currently most of mobile advertising is targeted at phones.

There are approximately 4 billion mobile phones in the world. China boosts largest number of mobile phone users with 500 million people owning a mobile phone. Now mobile advertising is just 1% of global advertising spend. But, things will change in coming years. It is obvious that advertisers and media industry will increasingly take account of a fast-growing mobile market. As a result mobile media is evolving rapidly and there is a dedicated international awards ceremony organized every year by Vision gain.

As mobile phones outnumber TV sets and internet users, advertisers in many markets have recently rushed to this media. In Spain 75% of mobile phone users receive ads and in Japan 54% receive ads. More remarkably as mobile advertising matures the user involvement also matures. It will be reflected in clicks on mobile ads and buying directly from mobile. In Japan, 44% of owners click on advertisements they receive on their phones.

In developed markets mobile web banner and poster are commonly seen advertising formats. In developing markets such as India, advertising is still dominated by SMS (Short Messaging Services) and MMS (Multimedia Messaging Services). 90% mobile marketing revenue comes from SMS services. Other forms include advertising within mobile games, mobile videos, mobile TV receipt and audio adverts. The effectiveness of a mobile ad can be measured in a variety of ways. The main measurements are impressions and click rates. Additional measurements include conversion rates, click-to-call rates. One of the most striking benefit of mobile advertising is an advertisement is almost guaranteed to be seen in a reasonable amount of time once the user receives it.

With Mobile phones becoming very popular in India, mobile advertisers and mobile portals started strategizing on this medium. In India a unique model is evolving. A user gets paid for reading advertisements on his/her mobile. Surveys shows, as of November 2006 the market size of VAS (Value Added Service) for mobile phones in India is estimated at Rs. 2850 crore.

Mobile advertising is going to be big hit in India as it will ride on VAS and 250 million (approx) strong users. A few questions still need to be clear for advertisers. What will work in the mobile advertising space in India and how much should be paid for advertising. This medium is in its infancy and it is sure to mature very fast. Advertisers yet to see what the users’ response are going to be. But, this medium already created a lot of buzz in India and across globe.

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